Abalos allowed to post P1M bailBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos has been allowed to post a P1 million bail by a local court.
Judge Jesus Mupas of the Pasay City regional trial court Branch 112 granted Abalos his temporary liberty in a ruling he issued Friday.
“The prosecution was not able to establish with clarity the strong evidence of guilt of accused Abalos thus leaving the court in doubt as to whether or not said accused should be admitted to bail or his provisional liberty. Hence, in further addressing the issue at hand, the court cannot help but take into consideration the advance age and present health condition of the accused, in so doing, it finds it necessary to render justice with compassion in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of DeLa Rama v. Peoples Court G.R. L-982 (October 2, 1946) wherein it was held that where the continued confinement of the accused who were ill would be injurious to their health or endanger their lives, their admission to bail cannot be refused,” the Pasay court said in its 5-page ruling.
“Wherefore, the application for bail is granted and accused Benjamin Abalos Sr. is allowed to post bail of P500, 000 for each count (2 counts) for his provisional liberty,” the court further stated.
Abalos is facing electoral sabotage charges for allegedly rigging the 2007 senatorial polls.
He also faces 11 counts of electoral sabotage before the Pasay City RTC Branch 117 where he already posted a P2.2-million bail.
Mupas is the same judge who allowed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to post a P1 million bail for the same charge.
Meanwhile, lawyer Abraham Espejo, counsel for Abalos, said in a statement that the government must stop its persecution in the form of “harassment suits [that] have no place in free and democratic state.”
“It is now time for the persecution to end as harassment suits, such as what was filed against Chairman Abalos, have no place in a free and democratic state. Thus, those who are in power should stop persecuting Chairman Abalos,” Espejo said.
Espejo said the grant of bail for Abalos “is not a day too soon,” having spent more than eight months in jail “on the basis of false charges that were supported by flimsy evidence.”
He also thanked the Pasay Court for not giving in to pressure and solely relying on the merits of the case.